An 18-year-old Queenstown cyclist’s debuting for New Zealand at the world cycling champs in Scotland today.
Eli Tregidga, who won the under-19 title in the elite road cycling nationals in February, will saddle up for New Zealand’s junior (U19) road race team who also comprise Wānaka’s Carter Guichard and Auckland’s Finn Wilson.
The former Wakatipu High student says it’s a ‘‘massive honour’’ to be selected, and he’s ‘‘super-excited’’, though he did some what expect it after winning the nationals.
Since April he’s been training and racing for the Gepla-Watersley R&D U19 men’s team in the Netherlands.
‘‘Some of my results in European racing have backed up my performance at nationals and helped with the selection.
‘‘My form has come up significantly while being here, and the racing experience has been incredible.
‘‘I’m really happy with the progress I see after every race weekend.’’
In Scotland, where world champs for 13 cycling disciplines, including downhill mountain biking, are being staged over 11 days, Eli says his race is just over 125km around the streets of Glasgow — about 170 riders will be competing.
‘‘It’s hard to say how well I’ll go in terms of results.
“It’s a very hard course, so it depends a lot on how the others want to race it, but I know I’m in good form, and just hope for the best.’’
Eli, who’ll step up to U23 racing next year, says his main goal is to make it to the pro ranks.
‘‘It is a big goal, of course, but I think if I work hard, and commit, it’s achievable.’’
He says Queenstown’s a really good training venue.
‘‘Having the big climbs like Coronet and Remarks is pretty awesome, and having the flat, quiet roads gives me a bit of everything.’’
Like his teammate Finn, he’s coached by Wānaka’s Tammy and Patrick Harvey.
He’ll return home late next month then, after a bit of down time, will build up towards nationals again in February.